THE BOOK: The Buddha’s Bone
PUBLISHED IN: October 2021
THE AUTHOR: Leilanie Stewart
THE EDITOR: Amy Finlay
THE PUBLISHER: Leilanie Stewart
SUMMARY: (From the back cover)
Kimberly Thatcher wasn’t an English teacher. She wasn’t a poet. She wasn’t an adventurer. Now she wasn’t even a fiancée. But when one of her fellow non-Japanese colleagues tried to make her a victim, she said no.
In Japan on a one-year teaching contract at a private English language school, and with her troubled relationship far behind her in London, Kimberly set out to make new friends. She would soon discover the darker side of travelling alone – and people’s true intentions.
As she came to question the nature of all those around her – and herself – Kimberly was forced to embark on a soul-searching journey into emptiness. What came next after you looked into the abyss? Could Kimberly overcome the trauma – of sexual assault and pregnancy loss – blocking her path to personal enlightenment along the way, and forge a new identity in a journey of … Death. Cremation. Rebirth.
THE BACK STORY: I was inspired to write this novel after working as an English teacher in Japan for four years. I wanted to explore the feeling of the protagonist being out of her depth in terms of understanding the language and culture and how this not only opened up her vulnerabilities, but created an opportunity for her to learn and grow through the people she met and experiences she had – both good and bad.
WHY THIS TITLE: It’s based on a cremation ritual in Japan. The protagonist is told of the ritual by one of her students and feels it’s reflective of her own inner journey of death, cremation and rebirth of her soul.
WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Readers who enjoy stories where the main character overcomes trauma and experiences personal growth as a result would enjoy this story. Those looking for a travel story of being a foreigner in another country and the accompanying sense of alienation and culture shock would also like The Buddha’s Bone.
“The Buddha’s Bone is a read about all the strongest emotions: grief, anger, love, regret, and hope. Kimberly’s imperfections and struggles are raw and relatable.”
“Kimberly’s story touches on a lot of important topics: misogyny, sexual assault, trauma, female friendship, loss, mental health.”
“The titular ‘Buddha’s Bone’ story of Japanese tradition is beautiful and creative; it was like a shining beacon of hope for Kimberly in her darkest moment.”
“Readers catch a glimpse into the intimate thoughts of Kimberly through her poetry. They were such a great addition to Kimberly’s character and an insight into what she was really feeling.”
“Leilanie Stewart artfully invites us deep into the thoughts, poetry, and personal exploration of the main character and first-person POV.”
AUTHOR PROFILE: Leilanie Stewart is an author and poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her writing centres around protagonists who are on a journey of self-discovery and who explore their identity by overcoming adversity. She began writing for publication while working as an English teacher in Japan, a career pathway that has influenced themes in her writing. Her former career as an Archaeologist has also inspired her writing and she has incorporated elements of archaeology and mythology into both her fiction and poetry.
In addition to promoting her own work, Leilanie runs Bindweed Magazine, a creative writing ezine, with her writer husband, Joseph Robert. Aside from literary pursuits, Leilanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their lively literary tot, a voracious reader of construction vehicle books.
AUTHOR COMMENTS: There are some trigger topics in the novel: it deals with sexual assault, miscarriage and mental health issues of the protagonist and also racist language by one of the antagonists. Some readers might want to take care for these reasons.
SAMPLE CHAPTER: Chapters 1 to 3 can be sampled on Amazon Kindle: https://read.amazon.com/litb/B09BL92LCC?f=1&l=en_US&r=92578b3f&rid=KMB03Y8C9KQ18J34AYAY&sid=135-4941646-7594958&cid=A1JKUXIOE62S8&ref_=litb_m
You can also listen to an excerpt reading on my YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dHdyOi3giM&t=46s
LOCAL OUTLETS: It’s available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble (US), Waterstones (UK) and the Book Depository in Paperback and Hardcover and additionally as an Ebook from Kindle, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Apple and Scribed.
WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: It can be ordered from any of the major online retailers.
PRICE: UK £1.99/ US $2.99 for the Ebook, UK £8.99/ US $12.44 for the Paperback and UK £14.99/ US $18.99 for the Hardcover.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR: My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org